Looking for a shapefile that provides input for 'City' beyond municipal boundaries

Discussion created by bauman312 on Oct 25, 2011
Latest reply on Oct 26, 2011 by vcribbs-esristaff
Hey there,

I am trying to geocode addresses using TIGER/Line and NAVTEQ reference data. Both sources contain fields for Zip Code, but no fields for City. Geocoding with Zip Code as the zone input is good, but many of the matches are not matched to the correct zip code, hence resulting in an incorrect match. I want to create a composite address locator that uses one locator for Address and Zip, and another locator that uses Address and City. Because TIGER/Line and NAVTEQ do not have 'City' as a field, I would like to join a City shapefile onto the TIGER/Line and NAVTEQ shapefiles, so that they both have the City field embedded into their attribute tables. One would assume that using the TIGER/Line Places shapefile (and its NAVTEQ equivalent) would be sufficient, but the problem is that the spatial extent of this shapefile is limited. Hence, addresses that lie outside of municipalities would not be picked up by the locator. These addresses, one would assume, would claim their town based on township boundaries, which TIGER/Line also provides in their County Subdivisions shapefile. These boundaries ensure that all of the area within the state (in my case, Illinois) are covered, including rural addresses that lie outside of municipalities. However, when looking at the entries within the 'City' field for the rural addresses which are to be geocoded, it becomes clear that they do not necessarily correlate to the township name assigned by the County Subdivisions shapefile. So my question is: where can I find a shapefile that would provide me with the correct 'City' information for rural areas? If someone who lives outside of a municipality does not use the township for their 'City' information, then what do they use, and would that be mapped?